The forearms, particularly the flexors that are responsible for closing your hands, take the brunt of the work when you're rock climbing. The repeated grabbing, pinching and crimping by your hands can cause the forearms to fatigue quickly and cramp. To speed up recovery after a climbing session, take a few minutes to run through a simple forearm stretching and recovery routine -- you'll increase strength, improve mobility and reduce inflammation.
Find a relatively flat spot on the ground and kneel down, placing your hands in front of you with your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Your back should be flat and your body should resemble a table.
Rotate your fingertips to the outside until they are pointing toward your toes. The heel of your hand will most likely come off the ground at this point.
Exhale as you ease the heel of your hand back to the ground, stretching the forearm flexors. You will feel this on the underside of your forearms. Hold the stretch for three to five breaths. Inhale as you allow the forearm to relax. Exhale as you begin the stretch again. Complete eight to 10 repetitions of this stretch.
Use one ice cube to massage the underside of each forearm. Use small circular movements.
Continue the massage until the ice cube melts; then repeat for the other arm. The massaging action combined with the cold will reduce inflammation. As the forearm returns to normal body temperature, the blood flow will increase and bring more nutrients to the damaged tissues.
Massage both forearms with the heel of your hand for one minute once both ice cubes are melted. Use gentle circular motions. This will help push blood to the flexors and reduce any stiffness that occurred from the ice massage.
- As you gain flexibility in your forearms, shift your weight forward onto your hands to increase the stretch.
- ClimbThatWall.com: Rest and Injuries
- Training for Climbing; Eric J. Horst